When referring to Halong, people often think of Halong Bay – the UNESCO World Heritage site with thousands of islands, white sandy beaches, and delicious seafood. However, few people know that Halong also has a fascinating landscape beyond the bay.
This is an ideal place for those who prefer a little adventure, a little challenge, and the chance to explore the city and surrounding area. Get a different perspective on the famous bay – from atop Bai Tho Mountain.
Bai Tho Background
Bai Tho Mountain is a limestone mountain 200 meters high, located in the heart of Halong city. This mountain is quite special: half of its foothills rove over the land, and the other half are immersed in the ocean. People have a long history of interpreting the mountain’s shapes to look like a lying tiger, a preying lion, or a dragon preparing to fly.
Culture and History
Not only does the mountain have a high value in regard to tourism, Bai Tho Mountain also has a rich, storied role in the culture and history of this province.
A long time ago, Bai Tho Mountain was called Truyen Dang Mountain (Lighthouse/Light Projecting Mountain). Legend has it that soldiers perched atop the mountain would use their high vantage point to announce oncoming aggressors by lighting up the top of the mountain to warn the city below.
In 1468, King Le Thanh Tong patrolled the northeast coast by boat and stopped at the foothill to drink wine and recite a poem. Touched by the charming scenery of natural mountains and sea, King Le Thanh Tong had the poem carved into a cliff face.
From that time forward, people have chosen to call this place Bai Tho Mountain (Poem Mountain).
How to Get to the Best Viewpoint
This is not the highest mountain in the city, but it is an ideal location for you to admire the entirety of the bay and the city from above. From the central post office downtown, one can easily find their way to climb the mountain.
– Go straight along Le Thanh Tong Street to see Nam Phong Coffee at Hang Noi Town.
– Turn into the opposite road. Bai Tho Mountain road is a small lane and you have to go up through the local houses there. You can ask people here and they are enthusiastic to show you the way to go up.
From on Top
After 30 minutes of hiking, you can rest your feet on the top of Bai Tho Mountain.
Apart from the poem engraved in the stone; you will also be able to enjoy the impressive vista stretching out below. Standing at the top of Bai Tho Mountain, you can see the whole city of Halong.
A small note: if you see signs warning of a misty sky or potential rains, you probably should not go up because there is no shelter. Moreover, when you see the sky is very cloudy, your visibility will be very limited, which makes it difficult to see the sights below.
Remember that you do not need a helicopter to see the whole of Halong City from above. Bai Tho Mountain is one of the most impressive attractions in Halong, and it’s right there for anyone to climb!
Have you been up Bai Tho Mountain? Send us in your pics for a chance to be featured in a future post!